BALTIMORE, Jan. 11, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- A team comprised of three leading U.S. aerospace and defense contractors has demonstrated an innovative technological use of active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars for high-bandwidth communications. The successful demonstration is a result of internal research and development efforts over the past two years by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), L-3 Communications Inc. (NYSE:LLL) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (NYSE:LMT).

In September, at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector facility in Baltimore, the team used an advanced AN/APG-77 radar aperture being produced for the F-22 aircraft and a common data link (CDL) modem emulator to transmit and receive high-data-rate communications signals over the air. Line-of-sight communications at long distances for both air-to-air and air-to-ground applications were proven with test data.

This technology breakthrough will enable both communication and imagery data transmission through Northrop Grumman's advanced AESA radars and L-3 Communication's 274 megabits-per-second CDL modems. The engineering team was also able to successfully demonstrate communications at two and four times the basic modem rate of 274 megabits per second.

This demonstrated leap-ahead technological capability directly supports emerging, non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NT-ISR) missions for possible spiral application into F-22 and F-35 aircraft programs, allowing them to transmit and receive large, uncompressed data packages, such as synthetic aperture radar images and other data, within seconds. According to Maj. Gen. Tommy Crawford, commander of the U.S. Air Force Command and Control, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center, "Radar CDL (R-CDL) is a needed capability to support near-real-time NT-ISR. R-CDL complements the tactical data-link capability of tactical targeting network technology to complete networking the battlespace."

Headquartered in New York City, L-3 Communications is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, secure communications systems, aircraft modernization, training and government services. The company is a leading merchant supplier of a broad array of high-technology products, including guidance and navigation, sensors, scanners, fuses, data links, propulsion systems, simulators, avionics, electro optics, satellite communications, electrical power equipment, encryption, signal intelligence, antennas and microwave components. L-3 also supports a variety of homeland security initiatives with products and services. Its customers include the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, selected U.S. Government intelligence agencies and aerospace prime contractors.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin, is a leader in the design, research and development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2. The company produces major components for the F-2 fighter, and is a co-developer of the C-27J tactical transport and T-50 advanced jet trainer.

Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-based Electronic Systems sector is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems, including airborne radars, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, government systems and logistics services.